Finding and Fixing Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 , a High Risk Vulnerability

With Notes on Remediation, Penetration Testing, Disclosures, Patching and Exploits

Contents

  • Vital information on this issue
  • Scanning For and Finding Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
  • Penetration Testing (Pentest) for this Vulnerability
  • Security updates on Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
  • Disclosures related to Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
  • Confirming the Presence of Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
  • False positive/negatives
  • Patching/Repairing this vulnerability
  • Exploits related to Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5

Vital Information on This Issue
Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 is a high risk vulnerability that is one of the most frequently found on networks around the world. This issue has been around since at least 1990 but has proven either difficult to detect, difficult to resolve or prone to being overlooked entirely.


Vulnerability Name: VMware ESXi 3.5
Test ID: 17260
Risk: High
Category: Policy Checks
Type: Attack
Summary: Multiple vulnerabilities have been found in VMware ESXI: * mount.vmhgfs in the VMware Host Guest File System (HGFS) in VMware Workstation 7.1.x before 7.1.4, VMware Player 3.1.x before 3.1.4, VMware Fusion 3.1.x before 3.1.3, VMware ESXi 3.5 through 4.1, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 through 4.1 allows guest OS users to determine the existence of host OS files and directories via unspecified vectors.

* mount.vmhgfs in the VMware Host Guest File System (HGFS) in VMware Workstation 7.1.x before 7.1.4, VMware Player 3.1.x before 3.1.4, VMware Fusion 3.1.x before 3.1.3, VMware ESXi 3.5 through 4.1, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 through 4.1, when a Solaris or FreeBSD guest OS is used, allows guest OS users to modify arbitrary guest OS files via unspecified vectors, related to a procedural error.

* Race condition in mount.vmhgfs in the VMware Host Guest File System (HGFS) in VMware Workstation 7.1.x before 7.1.4, VMware Player 3.1.x before 3.1.4, VMware Fusion 3.1.x before 3.1.3, VMware ESXi 3.5 through 4.1, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 through 4.1 allows guest OS users to gain privileges on the guest OS by mounting a filesystem on top of an arbitrary directory.

* The VMware Tools update functionality in VMware Workstation 6.5.x before 6.5.5 build 328052 and 7.x before 7.1.2 build 301548; VMware Player 2.5.x before 2.5.5 build 328052 and 3.1.x before 3.1.2 build 301548; VMware Server 2.0.2; VMware Fusion 2.x before 2.0.8 build 328035 and 3.1.x before 3.1.2 build 332101; VMware ESXi 3.5, 4.0, and 4.1; and VMware ESX 3.0.3, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.1 allows host OS users to gain privileges on the guest OS via unspecified vectors, related to a command injection"\ issue.

* VMware Tools in VMware Workstation 6.5.x before 6.5.4 build 246459; VMware Player 2.5.x before 2.5.4 build 246459; VMware ACE 2.5.x before 2.5.4 build 246459; VMware Server 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138; VMware Fusion 2.x before 2.0.6 build 246742; VMware ESXi 3.5 and 4.0; and VMware ESX 2.5.5, 3.0.3, 3.5, and 4.0 does not properly load VMware programs, which might allow Windows guest OS users to gain privileges by placing a Trojan horse program at an unspecified location on the guest OS disk.

* VMware Tools in VMware Workstation 6.5.x before 6.5.4 build 246459; VMware Player 2.5.x before 2.5.4 build 246459; VMware ACE 2.5.x before 2.5.4 build 246459; VMware Server 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138; VMware Fusion 2.x before 2.0.6 build 246742; VMware ESXi 3.5 and 4.0; and VMware ESX 2.5.5, 3.0.3, 3.5, and 4.0 does not properly access libraries, which allows user-assisted remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by tricking a Windows guest OS user into clicking on a file that is stored on a network share.

* Directory traversal vulnerability in VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.10 build 203137 and 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138 on Linux, VMware ESXi 3.5, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 and 3.5 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.

* VMware Workstation 6.5.x before 6.5.3 build 185404, VMware Player 2.5.x before 2.5.3 build 185404, VMware ACE 2.5.x before 2.5.3 build 185404, VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.10 build 203137 and 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138, VMware Fusion 2.x before 2.0.6 build 196839, VMware ESXi 3.5 and 4.0, and VMware ESX 2.5.5, 3.0.3, 3.5, and 4.0, when Virtual-8086 mode is used, do not properly set the exception code upon a page fault (aka #PF) exception, which allows guest OS users to gain privileges on the guest OS by specifying a crafted value for the cs register.

* Unspecified vulnerability in the VMware Descheduled Time Accounting driver in VMware Workstation 6.5.1 and earlier, VMware Player 2.5.1 and earlier, VMware ACE 2.5.1 and earlier, VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.9 build 156507 and 2.x before 2.0.1 build 156745, VMware Fusion 2.x before 2.0.2 build 147997, VMware ESXi 3.5, and VMware ESX 3.0.2, 3.0.3, and 3.5, when the Descheduled Time Accounting Service is not running, allows guest OS users on Windows to cause a denial of service via unknown vectors.

* Unspecified vulnerability in the virtual machine display function in VMware Workstation 6.5.1 and earlier; VMware Player 2.5.1 and earlier; VMware ACE 2.5.1 and earlier; VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.9 build 156507 and 2.x before 2.0.1 build 156745; VMware Fusion before 2.0.4 build 159196; VMware ESXi 3.5; and VMware ESX 3.0.2, 3.0.3, and 3.5 allows guest OS users to execute arbitrary code on the host OS via unknown vectors, a different vulnerability than CVE-2008-4916.
* Unspecified vulnerability in VMware Workstation 5.5.8 and earlier, and 6.0.5 and earlier 6.x versions; VMware Player 1.0.8 and earlier, and 2.0.5 and earlier 2.x versions; VMware Server 1.0.9 and earlier; VMware ESXi 3.5; and VMware ESX 3.0.2 through 3.5 allows guest OS users to have an unknown impact by sending the virtual hardware a request that triggers an arbitrary physical-memory write operation, leading to memory corruption.

* The CPU hardware emulation in VMware Workstation 6.0.5 and earlier and 5.5.8 and earlier; Player 2.0.x through 2.0.5 and 1.0.x through 1.0.8; ACE 2.0.x through 2.0.5 and earlier, and 1.0.x through 1.0.7; Server 1.0.x through 1.0.7; ESX 2.5.4 through 3.5; and ESXi 3.5, when running 32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems, does not properly handle the Trap flag, which allows authenticated guest OS users to gain privileges on the guest OS.

* Unspecified vulnerability in VMware ESXi 3.5 before ESXe350-200901401-I-SG and ESX 3.5 before ESX350-200901401-SG allows local administrators to cause a denial of service (host crash) via a snapshot with a malformed VMDK delta disk.

* Directory traversal vulnerability in VMWare ESXi 3.5 before ESXe350-200810401-O-UG and ESX 3.5 before ESX350-200810201-UG allows administrators with the Datastore.FileManagement privilege to gain privileges via unknown vectors.

* The CPU hardware emulation for 64-bit guest operating systems in VMware Workstation 6.0.x before 6.0.5 build 109488 and 5.x before 5.5.8 build 108000; Player 2.0.x before 2.0.5 build 109488 and 1.x before 1.0.8; Server 1.x before 1.0.7 build 108231; and ESX 2.5.4 through 3.5 allows authenticated guest OS users to gain additional guest OS privileges by triggering an exception that causes the virtual CPU to perform an indirect jump to a non-canonical address.

* The VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) command-line utilities in VMware ESX 3.0.1 through 3.0.3 and ESX 3.5 place a password on the command line, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by listing the process.

* Buffer overflow in the openwsman management service in VMware ESXi 3.5 and ESX 3.5 allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges via an invalid Content-Length.

Impact: Attackers can take control over your database, and in some cases over the operating system (using master..xp_cmdshell, CREATE LIBRARY, etc).
Solution: Since this version is no longer supported, there is no solution beside upgrading to a supported version.
CVE: CVE-2008-2097CVE-2008-2101
CVE-2008-4279 CVE-2008-4281
CVE-2008-4914 CVE-2008-4915
CVE-2008-4917 CVE-2009-1244
CVE-2009-1805 CVE-2009-2267
CVE-2009-3733 CVE-2010-1141
CVE-2010-1142 CVE-2010-4297
CVE-2011-1787 CVE-2011-2145
CVE-2011-2146
More Information:
Nist NVD (CVSS): AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
CVSS Score: 9.3
For more information on this also issue see: www.securiteam.com

Scanning For and Finding Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
Use of Vulnerability Management tools, like AVDS, are standard practice for the discovery of this vulnerability. The primary failure of VA in finding this vulnerability is related to setting the proper scope and frequency of network scans. It is vital that the broadest range of hosts (active IPs) possible are scanned and that scanning is done frequently. We recommend weekly. Your existing scanning solution or set of test tools should make this not just possible, but easy and affordable. If that is not the case, please consider AVDS.

Penetration Testing (pentest) for this Vulnerability
The Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 is prone to false positive reports by most vulnerability assessment solutions. AVDS is alone in using behavior based testing that eliminates this issue. For all other VA tools security consultants will recommend confirmation by direct observation. In any case Penetration testing procedures for discovery of Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 produces the highest discovery accuracy rate, but the infrequency of this expensive form of testing degrades its value. The ideal would be to have pentesting accuracy and the frequency and scope possibilities of VA solutions, and this is accomplished only by AVDS.

Security Updates on Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
For the most current updates on this vulnerability please check www.securiteam.com Given that this is one of the most frequently found vulnerabilities, there is ample information regarding mitigation online and very good reason to get it fixed. Hackers are also aware that this is a frequently found vulnerability and so its discovery and repair is that much more important. It is so well known and common that any network that has it present and unmitigated indicates "low hanging fruit" to attackers.

Disclosures related to this vulnerability
http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2012/Jun/266

Confirming the Presence of Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
AVDS is currently testing for and finding this vulnerability with zero false positives. If your current set of tools is indicating that it is present but you think it is probably a false positive, please contact us for a demonstration of AVDS.

False positive/negatives
The secret killer of VA solution value is the false positive. There was an industry wide race to find the most vulnerabilities, including Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 ,and this resulted in benefit to poorly written tests that beef up scan reports by adding a high percentage of uncertainty. This may have sold a lot of systems some years ago, but it also stuck almost all VA solutions with deliberately inaccurate reporting that adds time to repairs that no administrator can afford. Beyond Security did not participate in this race to mutually assured destruction of the industry and to this day produces the most accurate and actionable reports available.

Patching/Repairing this Vulnerability

Since this version is no longer supported, there is no solution beside upgrading to a supported version. Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 is a high risk vulnerability that is also high frequency and high visibility. This is the most severe combination of security factors that exists and it is extremely important to find it on your network and fix it as soon as possible.

Exploits related to Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5
https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/33310/
http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2009-3733

Please also visit www.securiteam.com to view any exploits available for this vulnerability, or search using "Vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi 3.5 ".


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